Thousands of school leavers are set to descend on the Gold Coast today, kicking off a week of celebrations in the heart of Surfers Paradise.
The official festivities begin on Saturday, but scores of local schoolies will start settling into their accommodation tonight after graduating today.
Queensland Ambulance issued a warning to the school-leavers on Friday, urging them to take care of each other.
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“Shoutout to the Yr 12 school-leavers around Qld today. As you embark on the chapter ahead of you, remember that 1 bad decision could impact the rest of your lives,” paramedics said.
“Be safe travelling to your Schoolies destination, drive to conditions, wear your seatbelts & take care of each other.”
Queensland Ambulance said that last year, demand on Gold Coast services during Schoolies was on average 19 per cent higher than during normal operational periods.
Senior Operations Supervisor Justin Payne said too many of those incidents were drug or alcohol related and he urged 2017 Schoolies to follow some simple but potentially life saving tips in an emergency.
“If someone’s had too much to drink, overdosed on drugs, or has been injured, stay with them and call for help by phoning Triple Zero,” he said.
“If someone is unconscious, make sure they are rolled onto their side and their airway is clear so that they can breathe properly.”
QAS is encouraging Schoolies to call Triple Zero regardless of the circumstances if they believe they or their mates require assistance.
“All Schoolies should download the Emergency+ app for their smartphone in case they need to call Triple Zero,” Mr Payne said.
“This free app gives coordinates from the phone’s GPS, which can be provided to the emergency dispatcher to pinpoint the patient’s exact location.”
Motorists in Surfers Paradise are also being reminded that a few local roads will be closed in the area for safety.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) November 16, 2017